Tankhunters fit into your offensive arsenal as your anti-amour piece with every profile offering some form of AP ammo. However with a moderate BS value of 12 you often need to stack things in your favour. If you can’t win a fair fight, don’t fight fair. Surprising an enemy is the Tankhunters preferred method of engagement. Of all the units that Ariadna has to offer the Tankhunter is the one that strikes most fear into opponents and the very presence of a camo marker in your deployment is a cause for concern. With its Portable Autocannon or missile launcher a Tankhunter can one shot a TAG.
With AP ammo on all profiles Tankhunters can crack even the toughest of nuts. Halfing the Armor on any tag increases your chances of causing damage significantly. For a high burst active piece an AP HMG can be devastating or for a scary ARO piece an Autocannon or missile launcher is the way to go. AP rifles are for close engagements, missions where you plan to move, but expect to spend orders to do so with a movement of just 4-2. Tankhunters are best up to 32” with AP HMG and Autocannons so engage enemy units that have moved but don’t expect to take on snipers deep in enemy deployments. At just 25 points an AP rifle and adhesive launcher is a cheap option but needs to move mid-field to be effective.
As medium infantry Tankhunters are immune to hacking, but with no other immunities and just 1 wound they could be considered glass cannons. However, with armour of 3, and effective armour in cover of 6 they have some resilience to small arms, but don’t expect to survive to hails of HMG fire or special ammo.
With a PH value of 12 Tankhunters often are as good at shooting as they are dodging, unless against units with camo of their own, so often it is better to shoot than dodge enemy attacks. However, with Camo, opponents do need to deal with your -3 to hit without any MSV. In cover that grants a combined -6, and in your active turn (unless your opponent has paid the high cost for MSV 3 or sixth sense) you can surprise shot adding an additional -3, for a total of -9, making the Tankhunter fairly resilient to ARO’s.
Additionally you can re-camo for additional protection if you survive your active turn and have the order spare to do so.
The greatest thing a Tankhunter has going for it though is the threat it represents as an ARO piece, for a small cost you are able to field a unit that is able, with its missile launchers and Autocannon, force three saves with just one hit. Just placing a camo marker watching a fire lane can be enough to dissuade some from showing themselves.
Surprise shot is your go to trick with Tankhunters in active turns. With an AP HMG combined with surprise shot you can take down even the toughest units. Do not forget it can be worth it to re-camo to regain this bonus, just ensure that no one can see you when you do.
As an LT option with camo a 25 point model is not a terrible choice. Field alongside a Basic Line Kazak to bait your opponent into thinking that the line kazak is your LT and you can set an effective trap.
With a Tankhunter LT in your final turn when revealing is no longer an issue you can use your LT order to put them into suppressive fire, giving you a very tough unit to tackle.
The addition of an Adhesive launcher on a cheaper profile still gives an effective ARO option against TAGS and other units but at closer ranges.
The Tankhunter profile has recently been updated and now features a chain of command option for 30 points and 1 SWC. While this may seem expensive, together with the new Tankhunter Character Vassily Plushenko, Ariadna finally gets the COC-option it was lacking this whole time. Especially when taking an aggressive Lt., the new option can provide you with backup and also an additional specialist (at WIP 14).
While Tankhunters can be scary they do not have many of the tricks of survival that other units have, making them easy to kill.
MSV 1 is enough to deny them their modifiers for camo and either MSV 3 or sixth sense level 2 denies them their surprise shot.
With armour 3 if they are in cover use template modes of weapons if you have them over AP as it removes a greater modifier.
With no immunities use shock ammo to remove them from play.
Camo is in itself an effective counter with the Tankhunter having no MSV making them equally vulnerable to surprise shots.
5 man Fireteams can be an effective counter to active turn use of Tankhunters. With sixth sense level 2 offering protection from surprise shot and the additional burst fireteams provide makes the Tankhunters most effective weapon, the Autocannon with its B value of 2 less useful.
Snipers with MSV excel at killing Tankhunters, you can outrange them and reduce their modifiers, balancing the dice roll in your favour.
Tankhunters are effective and cheap for what they offer. With AVA 3 you can easily fit in a range of profiles for different tasks. You can easily fit in an LT option, Autocannon and AP HMG and with Ariadna’s low cost for line troops still have plenty left for other offensive units.
However with no specialist options Tankhunters need to be paired well with a good line of button pushers for most missions.
A Tankhunter with its Autocannon or missile launcher acts as a great ARO piece, but it is not invincible so don’t count on it as your only way to take down heavy units.
An AP HMG can be very attractive for just 35 points but unless you need the AP ammo for just 3 points more you can take a Kazak Spetsnazs. Which brings Marksman level 2 and ambush cammo. Think about your likely opponents, do you need the shock ammo that comes with Marksmanship and ability to ignore cover or will you need to crack high amour values more? At low points cost however you can always bring both.
Tankhunters pair well with a 112 prone nearby.
A Tankhunter can be an excellent unit to hold back, placing a camo marker gives little away to your opponent and also allows you to setup an ARO against whatever you want.
If you plan to use the Tankhunter as an active piece consider being prone until you need to use them, they are not that hard to kill and as such protecting them until you need them is not a terrible option.
Pairing them with a 112 is a good idea but can be a dead giveaway as to what is under that camo marker.
For a nasty surprise you can deploy them standing up within 8 inches of another camo marker that is prone. Many will assume that the standing marker is in fact the fake marker provided by a Kazak Spetsnazs ambush cammo, and as such will ignore it, offering you the chance to reveal it when you want to, to cause maximum damage.
Tankhunters as ARO pieces want to cover good fire lanes, especially ones that a TAG might use, but try to keep them out of fire lanes that are longer than their good range bands.
Active Turn Role
Tankhunters are slow so don’t use them as aggressive pieces to take ground with, Ariadna has plenty of those. Use them in the active turn to crack tough units. AP ammo is the king at killing Tags. With few units with MSV 3 you can be safe in the knowledge that your opponent is going to take some negative modifiers to hit you back.
Consider using Tankhunters to remove pesky total reaction bots. If you put them at negative ranges, which will also likely reduce your BS to a 9 to hit, you can stack the modifiers to reduce them by up to -12 (-3 cover, -3 camo, -3 range and -3 surprise shot) meaning most wont be able to shoot back.
However you will struggle against camo and ODD so consider using your many flamethrower options first before engaging with your Tankhunter.
CC 14 means that Tankhunters want to take fights at mid-ranges don’t let people get too close to you.
Without total reaction bots or other options Ariadna lacks good ARO options, however a missile launcher or Autocannon on a Tankhunter is one of the best the faction has. With Courage you are unlikely even if hit to drop prone unless you want to and you can cause many armies a headache in their active turns.
However Tankhunters are not the most resilient, nor have anyway, other than suppression fire on some profiles, to increase reactive turn Burst values, so don’t expect to win every ARO fight.
With 12 on both BS and PH and a high damage output on successful hits, always consider if you want to shoot more than dodge as you are usually equally likely to succeed.